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A Couple of Lovely Valentine’s Day Stocks to Buy

Cupid's shooting his arrows straight at your wallet

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With its hand in so many pots, it’s no wonder InterActiveCorp is a major player in the Catalogue & Mail Order Houses Industry. IAC is the fourth largest in terms of market cap, behind only Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Liberty Interactive (NASDAQ:LINTA) — the owner of the Home Shopping Network.  Also, IAC is in the top five in terms of sales growth, earnings growth and long-term growth rate. It doesn’t hurt that IAC’s dividend yield is the best in the industry, either.

For a clearer picture of this stock’s fundamental health, let’s put it in my Portfolio Grader tool. You can see that this company earns solid grades all down the line. Now, it could stand to improve its operating margin growth and its return on equity, but I can forgive this due to the stock’s top-notch level of buying pressure. I’d recommend IACI as a “strong buy.”

The “Wild” Card Stock: PetSmart

Valentines Day isn’t only for human loved ones. The average person will spend about 3% of their holiday budget on gifts and treats for their pets (about $4.52 per person). So today we’re also going to take a look at PetSmart Inc. (NASDAQ:PETM), one of the biggest specialty retailers in the business and seller of any pet supply you can think of.

The company is the largest retailer of pet food and supplies in a $40 billion industry. From fish and aquariums to puppies and veterinarian services, you can find it all at PetSmart.

PetSmart will be reporting earnings in March and, if history is any indicator, the company is in for another solid quarter. PETM has beaten analysts estimates for earnings in each of the last four quarters, and current estimates show 6.6% sales growth and 16.9% earnings growth. That’s not going to win any awards, but it enjoys the solid growth many retailers would kill for.

And, if you run PetSmart through my free Portfolio Grader ratings system, you’ll quickly see that PETM currently receives a Total Grade of A. I give the company A’s and B’s in Operating Margin Growth, Earnings Growth, Analyst Revisions, Cash Flow and Return on Equity. I would like to see the company pick up some earnings momentum and beat estimates by a wider margin, but since the company has such strong buying pressure, I’m comfortable recommending the stock as a “strong buy”.

Of course, there are plenty of other companies tied to this holiday. Let’s see how other Valentines Day stocks stack up:

Company Name Ticker Fundamental Grade Quantitative Grade Total Grade Treats for your Valentine
Kraft Foods NYSE:KFT C A A Cadbury and Milk Chocolates.
Hershey NYSE:HSY C A A Hershey Kisses and Pot of Gold Boxed Chocolates.
Estee Lauder NYSE:EL B A B Perfume, Cologne and Cosmetics.
Liberty Interactive NASDAQ:LINTA C B B Jewelry, Shoes and Electronics through the Home Shopping Network.
Signet Jewelers NYSE:SIG B C B Kay Jewelry and Jared Galleria of Jewelry.
1-800-Flowers.com NASDAQ:FLWS C B C Flowers, gift baskets and gourmet chocolates delivered to your door.
CSS Industries NYSE:CSS C B C Paper Magic premium holiday cards and Berwick Offray packaging solutions.
Tiffany & Co. NYSE:TIF B C C High-End Jewelry, Scarves and Watches.
American Greeters NYSE:AM D F D Seasonal Greeting Cards.
Avon Products NYSE:AVP C F F Cosmetics, Fragrances and Jewelry.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2012/02/a-couple-of-lovely-valentines-day-stocks-to-buy-iaci-petm/.

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